What happens next? Information for kids about separation and divorce

Chapter Six: Blended families and extended families

Melody’s story

Melody and her new baby brother

Everything seemed to go well for Melody’s parents until her dad got a job out of town. Then things got worse and her dad moved out. After a while her mom started to see someone else who liked Melody and her sister Violet. Melody was happy.

Melody still saw her dad whenever he came back into town to visit. Then her dad moved back to town and introduced them to his girlfriend, Jenna. Jenna was going to have a baby, and Jenna and Melody’s dad were going to get married. Maybe Melody would have the baby brother she always wanted. Now, Melody had even more family and everything seemed just right to her. She spent most of her time with her mom and her sister Violet,  but she also had her own room at her dad’s home and spent time with her new little brother.

Blended families like Melody's are made up of kids who have different moms or dads. It can be tough to be part of a blended family.

Maybe one or both of your parents has married or is living with someone who already has kids and you suddenly have stepsisters and stepbrothers.

No matter what kind of changes happen with your parents' living arrangements, your parents are still your parents — even if you have to share their time and affection with their new partner and other kids.

Aunt Janine moves in

Ron doing his homework with his grandmother

Ron often had to stay with friends or neighbors while his mom travelled. At first this was fun, but Ron started to feel like he was never at home.

One day, his mom had an idea. She decided to invite Ron’s Aunt Janine to live with them for a while. Aunt Janine had a job not far from where Ron lived. She had been looking for an apartment, and Ron’s mom had a spare room for her.

Ron loved Aunt Janine. She was fun to be with. At first, Aunt Janine felt like a guest, but after a while, she started to feel like a second mom. She helped Ron with homework, made him dinner most days and often dropped him off at school.

Sometimes, Aunt Janine had to do things like meet with Ron’s teacher or take him to the doctor when his mom was away. Some people wondered whether she was allowed to make decisions about Ron.

Ron’s mom and Aunt Janine decided to talk to a lawyer. The lawyer said they could go to court to ask for an order that would let Aunt Janine make decisions about Ron too, just like his mom.

Now, no one wonders when Aunt Janine takes Ron to the doctor. She was always part of his family, but now she feels even more special. Ron knows his family is a bit different than most of his friends’ families, but he’s happy and he knows he’s looked after.

What do whales like to chew?

Answer: Blubber gum